stroke

‘Life changed in a heartbeat. I dropped to my knees on the kitchen rug, a horrible sensation ripping through my nerves. My skin felt like it was trying to harness golf balls wildly in my veins.’

“I had never been a ‘sick’ person. I had only gone to the hospital for labor. I didn’t even have a cavity! Now, my kids were crying. My husband was on the phone with 911. I froze. ‘It’s happening again,’ I screamed. My arm moved wildly on its own. Everyone began to scramble.”

‘I blacked out and collapsed. ‘We’re taking your baby,’ I heard someone say. I woke up not knowing where I was. I tried to tell them I was in pain, but couldn’t talk.’

“I saw nurses running back and forth. My parents waited for the helicopter to land. ‘They have to do surgery right now or she’ll die.’ My husband pulled over, went behind a building, and cried. ‘How am I going to raise 4 kids alone?!’ My oldest son was too scared to touch me. ‘I’m scared I’m going to hurt you, mama.’”

‘My mom rushed in shouting, ‘Get up! Get up! I need you to keep your dad from getting out of bed.’ I sprinted to their room. ‘911? This must be serious! My mom is running, she never runs!’

“My dad was a zombie. He groaned this horrendous noise. As tears rushed down my cheeks, I ran over. There was a surprise guest waiting to pick me up. ‘They are not sure your mom is going to make it,’ he said. ‘But everyone said it wouldn’t be like my dad!,’ was all I kept repeating.”

‘It was New Year’s Eve. Midnight came. Just like that, the love of my life was gone. I’ll never forget the look on her face. She gently patted me. ‘I love you.’ That was the last time I saw her as herself.’

“The next morning, I got a call. ‘She won’t answer the phone or come to the door.’ 25 nerve-wracking minutes later, we found her. I was standing at the head of the bed. I brushed her hair with one hand, her shoulder with the other. I wish I could tell you she looked peaceful, but she didn’t. She looked scared.”

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